In a surprising turn of events earlier today, reports surfaced claiming that the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise Fortune Barishal had banned veteran cricketer Shoaib Malik for alleged involvement in match-fixing. The controversy arose during the BPL 2024 match against Comilla Victorians on January 23, where Malik, primarily known as a spinner, bowled three no-balls in a single over, raising suspicions.
However, a recent update from the BPL franchise has refuted these claims, terming them as fabricated. Barishal’s owner, Mizanur Rahaman, addressed the issue in a video statement, asserting that Malik had left the BPL midway due to personal reasons, categorically denying any match-fixing allegations.
While Malik’s three no-balls caught the attention of cricket enthusiasts and officials alike, Mizanur himself acknowledged the need for an investigation. In a statement made to Channel 24 on January 25, he expressed his concerns, saying,
“It (ACU investigating Shoaib’s three no balls) should be done. If it is done (ACU investigation), it would be good because three no balls in one over bowled by an off-spinner is looking really absurd to me, and we lost the match there.”
Despite initially raising suspicions, Rahaman has now taken a firm stance, asserting Malik’s innocence. In a new statement, he said,
“Last few days we are hearing a lot about Shoaib Malik. I deeply protest against it, and he is a good player, and he had given his best for our team, so we don’t want to discuss it any further.”
When questioned by Cricbuzz, Mizanur Rahaman expressed regret about the choice of his words during the initial interview. He clarified,
“It’s unfortunate because I was just sharing my thoughts with them, and they telecasted it. We speak and discuss a lot of things, but that does not imply we are standing by it. But still, I feel that I shouldn’t have spoken that way.”
Dismissing reports that the franchise had terminated Malik’s contract due to fixing allegations, Mizanur Rahaman provided additional context to the situation. He revealed that Malik had traveled to the UAE after the team’s last match but had requested an extension of leave. However, the franchise rejected the request, replacing him with Ahmed Shehzad.
“Shoaib Malik was expected to stay with us till February 14, and after the last match, he went to Dubai and later asked me whether he can come [back] on February 6, but our main games are after that [14th], so it won’t help if he comes on 6th, and so I said ‘we don’t need you.’ But it had got nothing to do with all the things that are coming up in the media, like we terminated his contract due to match-fixing allegations,” Mizanur Rahaman concluded.
As the cricket community grapples with conflicting narratives, the situation surrounding Shoaib Malik’s alleged involvement in match-fixing remains fluid, with further investigations likely to shed light on the truth behind the controversy.
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